Posts Tagged ‘cancel culture’

Photo by Andrew Ruiz on Unsplash

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – We were supposed to be celebrating the Fourth in the Midwest this week, but our plans shifted by a week. We will be on the road next week. I love celebrating the Fourth in the heart of America, the Midwest, in rural America where it is easier for me to hide from the political and cultural negativity and pretend that things are as simple and kind as they were years ago.

Instead, I am here in Shreveport where we have already had one shooting today and I know with a fair degree of confidence that it won’t be the last; as I write this it isn’t even noon.

I sit here and scan the headlines over my coffee and see nothing but foolishness:

Nine Army bases will be renamed because they currently honor “Confederate traitors.” The new names include African-American, Hispanic, and female heroes who have served. “Officials with the Defense Department naming commission said the changes were designed to guarantee that prominent military locations have names ‘that evoke confidence in all who serve.’” This may not bother a lot of people, but I’m just so over this renaming, rebranding, and rewriting of history. When we take history out of context and force events to comply to current, perhaps even temporal thinking, we begin a trek down a path that leads to a point where we have no history at all. Where does it end?

On a somewhat related note, the New York Times reports that many orchestras, including Cleveland, are scrapping the 1812 Overture in their Fourth of July events as it would be upsetting to people in a time of war; the piece celebrates Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s army in Moscow in 1812.

Seriously.

So, now we literally have to rethink everything we name, sing, play, visit because we have to be certain someone somewhere doesn’t get offended or hurt.

Can I just say, you’d have to be looking really hard to have hurt feelings at some of this. When I hear the 1812 Overture, I do not think, “Oh, yay Russia! Good job trouncing Napoleon’s army! Woo!”

Today, on this July 4, I am longing for a simpler time when we as a nation come together to celebrate our independence, to remember those heroes who fought for it, and who sacrificed so much for it. I’m turning off the news today, I’m going to fire up the grill, light a sparkler, and listen to the 1812 Overture as loud as I can play it. I’m going to put out American flags and I’m going to celebrate the fact that I live in a free country and all that that entails.

Happy Fourth of July!

Blogger at the summit of Black Rock Mountain

By John Ruberry

As you may have noticed I haven’t posted here for a couple of weeks. Mrs. Marathon Pundit were on vacation. And we traveled to, at least if you live in the Chicago area, to an unlikely place, Georgia. 

After MLB’s spineless commissioner, Rob Manfred, pulled the annual All-Star Game out of Atlanta over Georgia’s voting integrity bill, my wife and I decided to “buy-in” to Georgia. 

MLB moved the Midsummer Classic to Denver, the capital of Colorado, even though that state has more more restrictive voting laws than Georgia. The switch cost Atlanta-area businesses millions. Don’t forget Atlanta is a majority-black city–Denver is majority-white. Of the Georgia election bill, Joe Biden said, “This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.” 

If that comment makes sense to you, or if Manfred’s panicky substitution swap does, then you need to switch off CNN and MSNBC.

Georgia’s new election laws, by the way, are less restrictive than those in Biden’s home state of Delaware.

So on Independence Day Mrs. Marathon Pundit drove south to the Peach State to make up, in a very small way, for the tens-of-millions of dollars shipped off by Manfred to Colorado. There were some diversions. We spent the night of July 4th in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is just north of the Georgia state line. We did some sighteeing there the next day, including time on Lookout Mountain, where a pivotal battle of the Civil War Siege of Chattanooga occurred in late 1863. But the lion’s share of that day was spent on the site of the Battle of Chickamauga a few miles south in Georgia. The two battles are often presented as one, or part of a campaign, which is why the these two locations comprise the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

Of our Civil War battles only Gettysburg, fought two months earlier in Pennsylvania, had more casualties than Chickamauga. Unlike Gettysburg, Chickamauga was a Confederate victory. After being routed in Georgia the Union army retreated to Chattanooga. The northern commanding general, William Rosecrans, was relieved of his duties and replaced by Ulysses S. Grant. His breaking of the siege set the stage for the army led by his close friend, General William Tecumseh Sherman, to capture the strategic city of Atlanta the next year. Sherman’s March to the Sea, where Union forces split the Confederacy a second time, ended with the capture of Savannah late in 1864. 

We eventually made it to Savannah too. 

Mrs. Marathon Pundit was stupefied by the sprawling expanse of the Chickamauga Battlefield and the hundreds of monuments there. Her hometown of Sece, Latvia, was the site of a World War I battle. With the exception of a German military cemetery, there are no commemorations of that battle there. C’mon Sece, at least erect an historical marker in town about the battle.

We wandered for the next two days in the luscious Blue Ridge Mountains, mostly hiking, in these state parks: Fort Mountain, Black Rock Mountain, Smithgall Woods, Unicoi, and Tallulah Gorge. The latter is where much of the classic but disturbing film Deliverance was filmed. Around the time that movie was shot Karl Wallenda crossed the gorge on a high-wire. In fact, the Great Wallenda accomplished that feat 51 years ago today. Our first night in the mountains we spent in Helen, Georgia. Its buildings are in a Bavarian style and it’s filled with German restaurants. While it only has about 500 residents, Helen is Georgia’s third-most visited town. And I encountered mobs of Floridians there.  

People often wonder where Florida residents go on vacation–after all the Sunshine State is of course one of America’s most popular vacation destinations. In the summer many Floridians head to the slightly cooler climes of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Yes, Tropical Storm Elsa, which passed through coastal Georgia after pummelling Florida during our trip, might have chased some people up north, but not all of them. 

I almost forgot–we hiked the Applachian Trail too.

After a couple of days in South Carolina–at Abbeville, Beaufort, and Hunting Island State Park, with a quick return to Georgia for a walking tour of Augusta and lunch with a high school friend in nearby Evans, we spent our last two days in Georgia in historic Savannah, an even better walking city than Augusta. Our own March to the Sea was over. Then it was time to drive home. 

On our way back, the day of the Home Run Derby of the MLB All-Star Game, we planned to visit Stone Mountain Park, site of “the Mount Rushmore of the South,” the largest bas-relief in the world, which is comprised of carvings of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. But the weather that day was horrible–heavy rain–so we kept driving, straight through, back to Illinois. Stacey Abrams, the defeated Democratic candidate for Georgia governor in 2018, favors removal of the mountain carvings.

Stone Mountain Park is the most-visited attraction in the Peach State.

Abrams gave tacit support to a boycott of Georgia because of the voting reform bills, but she stealthily edited her USA Today op-ed call for one, but her disingenous act was later exposed. 

Abrams all but said to stay away from Georgia. 

So we visited. And and Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I had a wonderful time.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

But what’s in your wallet?

Two big cryptocurrency news stories hit recently. This week, Coinbase, a large cryptocurrency exchange, went public on the NASDAQ stock market. It direct listed its stocks and is trading now around 340 dollars a share. When you look into the 8K and other filed forms, you see Coinbase is actually a profitable company, unlike many of the IPOs during 2020. The other big news is that Visa is partnering with Anchorage, a cryptocurrency bank, to process transactions in US Dollar Coin (USDC). It’s big news because most people probably haven’t heard of stablecoins before, only being familiar with the often violent stock movements of Bitcoin.

When I wrote earlier about cryptocurrency, I had in mind that by the end of this year, we’ll have more normal people using crypto and it becoming less of a big deal to do so. For conservative groups, now through the 2022 election cycle is going to be a time where everyone and their brother gets labeled as a hate group. The SPLC deliberate mislabeling of groups that resulted in Visa and Mastercard canceling their accounts was just the first act in the long war. If you thought Facebook and Google filtering wasn’t bad enough, I’m already seeing Parler become “inaccessible” when searching through Google, but pops up just fine on the Brave Browser using Tor.

Cryptocurrency is going to be the way you go about your lives and stop being canceled. If gun stores have their credit card accounts turned off “for auditing purposes” or some other baloney excuse, what are you going to do? Withdraw lots of cash, which not only is declining in value thanks to our printing volumes of money, but is automatically tracked by your bank and can trigger yet another investigation? If you’ve ever taken a large amount of cash on a plane or withdrawn from a casino, you’ll know what forms I’m talking about. And while that level of scrutiny normally sits at $10,000, it can be lowered without much fuss by executive order.

Your free exchange of value for goods is being threatened by a group of left wing nut cases that would be happy for you to die, and that’s not an exaggeration. By attempting to drive conservatives out of the marketplace, they are trying to make the basic day to day transactions and economic engagement so hard that conservatives have little time for anything else. Putting conservatives on a defensive gives these nut cases a chance to push more of their agenda. Boycott all you want, but if you don’t have a credit card, routine living becomes very difficult, and most people will cave if they don’t have another option.

Now is the time to start practicing. Get a crypto account (I recommend Coinbase because its easy, use this link to start) and put some money in it. Practice transferring money from a wallet. Get your hardware wallet and set it up. All of these things will become swamped once the left wing nut cases start really tightening the screws on people. Instead of the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, you’ll have the Great Cryptocurrency Shortage of 2021. Above all, don’t let losers shut you out of an economy that you helped build and should be allowed to participate in.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Abraham Lincoln: The Head of State, designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It is one of Chicago monuments “under review.”

By John Ruberry 

Last week in my DTG post I wrote about the Chicago Monuments Project, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s response to last summer’s riot surrounding the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park south of downtown.

The committee for the project earlier this month identified 41 monuments, mostly statues but also plaques, reliefs, and one painting. Five of the monuments are statues of Abraham Lincoln. Yes, that guy, the one who led the Union during the Civil War, which led to ending slavery in America. Illinois is the Land of Lincoln, that slogan has been emblazoned on every Illinois license plate for decades. His face is on all standard Illinois license plates. On every Illinois driver’s license and state ID card is Lincoln’s countenance–and automobile titles too.

Other monuments “under review” by the project include statues of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Leif Erikson, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, several pieces honoring Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, and works featuring anonymous Native Americans. 

But don’t worry! Really! In a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed published last week–on Washington’s birthday–three of the project’s members assured us:

Various accounts, especially on social media, have inaccurately described this project as an effort to tear it all down. This could not be further from the truth. It is a discussion.

I don’t believe them. The “discussion,” in my opinion, is a first step to, yes, “tear it all down.” Liberals work by way of incrementalism. Many left-wing politicians, probably most, want to ban private ownership of guns. They can’t express that sentiment because of the predictable outrage–and it could mean that they’ll be voted out of office. So they start with the easier targets, such as bans on semi-automatic rifles. If they succeed they’ll move on to other firearms, ending with the banning the type of handgun Mrs. Marathon Pundit purchased this year.

So the Chicago Monuments Project is beginning with “a discussion.” Without pushback that discussion very well may devolve into moving statues in the wee hours, which is what happened to two Christopher Columbus statues, including the one at the center of the riot, into storage. Both of those statues of the Italian Navigator are on the project’s “under review” status. 

It’s not just social media users and conservative news sources that have objected to the Chicago Monuments Project. In a Chicago Tribune op-ed, Lincoln biographers Sidney Blumenthal and Harold Holzer wrote, “The Orwellian idea of removing Lincoln from Chicago would be as vain as an attempt to erase the history of Chicago itself.”

The editoral board of the Chicago Tribune–paid subscription required–favors keeping the Lincoln stautes.

Lori Lightfoot even weighed in, “But let’s be clear, we’re in the Land of Lincoln, and that’s not going to change.”

But I’d like to explain to you that the other monuments are also worth keeping. Benjamin Franklin owned two slaves but he freed them and he later became an abolititionist. Ulysses S. Grant, when he was under tremendous financial hardship, freed the only slave he owned. Grant of course was the commander of all Union armies in the Civil War. George Washington’s slaves were freed after the death of Martha Washington. Yes, Washington is the Father of our Nation.

Other than being white, I can’t astertain why Marquette and Jolliet, or Leif Erikson, are “under review” in Chicago.

The source of the rage against Lincoln likely comes from his approving the hanging of 38 Dakota warriors in 1862. But Abe commuted 264 Dakota War executions. There were atrocities in that conflict committed by both sides. Here’s what a Norwegian immigrant described in a letter at that time, courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society:

The Indians have begun attacking the farmers. They have already killed a great many people, and many are mutilated in the cruelest manner. Tomahawks and knives have already claimed many victims. Children, less able to defend themselves, are usually burned alive or hanged in the trees, and destruction moves from house to house.

If the Chicago Monuments Project is about education, then it probably means that Lightfoot sorely needs one. “In time, our team will determine there are no monuments to African Americans in this city,” Lightfoot said last summer while announcing what has become the Chicago Monuments Project. “There are no monuments to women. There are no monuments that reflect the contributions of people in the city of Chicago who contributed to the greatness of this city.”

But in her namesake park on the South Side stands a Gwendolyn Brooks statue. Brooks was the first African-American to serve as Illinois’ Poet Laureate. A couple miles north of that statue is the beautiful Victory Monument, which honors a World War I African American regiment, and a bit north of that one is the Monument to the Great Northern Migration. I believe each of these are on city of Chicago or Chicago Park District property.

Does Chicago need more monuments featuring women and minorities? Absolutely. It can also benefit with a Ronald Reagan statue. The Gipper is the only president who was born in Illinois and the first to live in Chicago, although the apartment where he lived as a child was razed by the University of Chicago in 2013.

Click here to view the monuments in question. To express your comments about the Chicago Monuments Project please click here. Please be courteous. And if you Tweet this blog post–please do!–use the #ChicagoMonuments hashtag.

Make your voice heard. They’ve begun to listen.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.